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Consideration Of Biotechnology Genetic Manipulation

Updated on October 18, 2019
Adedeji Omotayo profile image

Adedeji is a noble entrepreneur with experience in content writing. He loves to share practical experience and content advisor at HFPM.

Safety Consideration Of Biotechnology GM

Until recently, most research in molecular genetics was regulated by the Recombinant DNA Guidelines established by NIH in the wake of the Asilomar Conferenceon recombinant DNA safety in 1975. Over the years, many of the safety concerns about recombinant DNA research have been dealt with through careful study and the development of simple biological containment features in conjunction with "common sense" physical containment. The original NIH guidelines for recombinant DNA research have been simplified greatly, and many recombinant experiments can now be conducted exempt from regulation.

This report sets out general principles and criteria for safe large-scale industrial production and small-scale experimental field research in biotechnology, two areas to which the Group of National Experts accorded priority attention in its Mandate.

The report consists of two parts :

− Part One further develops the Good Industrial Large-scale Practice criteria and reviews

the fundamental principles, identified in the 1986 report, for the handling of low-risk

r-DNA organisms in industrial production.

− Part Two provides guidance on the design of low or negligible risk (small-scale) field

research with genetically modified plants and microorganisms. It introduces general

principles for such research with good developmental principles applicable to

the continuum of testing from laboratory to production release.

The scientific principles presented in this report to facilitate the process, started in 1986, of

developing consensus on the scientific basis for safe use of biotechnology.

Irrespective of the intrinsic safety of the organisms concerned, zero risk is not realistic even for Good Industrial Large Scale Practice (GILSP) organisms.

Central to the concept of GILSP are:

− the assessment of’ the recombinant organism according to identified criteria to

determine that it is as safe as the low-risk host organism.

− the identification and adoption of practices ensuring the safety of the operation.

r-DNA organisms which meet the GILSP criteria and are therefore of low-risk can thus be

handled under conditions already found to be appropriate for the relevant hosts.

Social Consideration Of Biotechnology GM

Attempts to evaluate the impact of technology in society, are more than a matter of measuring indicators. If there is a focus upon one aspect, such as the rise in patents on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for example, this will not highlight the dynamic forces shaping the influence of biotechnology upon industrial and societal structures. Biotechnology is an endogenous and constitutive factor forming a key component of how we understand societal genetic functions. However, biotechnology and in the particular case of genetic engineering which have impacts arising from this technology, must address the fact that such issues are heavily interconnected and indeed, are a result of social interactions. Therefore, the path to developing an understanding of these dynamic forces, should stress this interconnectivity and the form of resulting complex relationships between acting genes. A further point to consider, is that such paths have two major avenues when examining potential technology impacts. These are from the immediate impact of the use and development of the technology and from the technology transcending risks. That is to say, from the long-term application of the technology however, deriving two terms which are:

1. Publication Educational Efforts In Society

This is the level of intensive efforts to involve scientists, key public opinion leaders and media representatives in an ongoing debate over biotechnology and genetic engineering in particular. The key objective is to avoid an informational void being created, facilitating anti-biotechnology interests to generate a different knowledge structure.

2. Role of regulatory policy in society

This is a focus on effective risk communication and, as noted earlier, a clear understanding that the public perception of risk can be very different from that of the scientific community.

Other social consideration of biotechnology GM include:

  • the blending of the animal and human DNA resulting in chimeric entities possessing degrees of intelligence or sentience never before seen in animals

  • The resources such as medical advances and novel treatments allocated to access biotechnology.

Moral Consideration Of Biotechnology GM

Before its practical reality biotechnology was the science of imagination. Biotechnology is quietly different in reality from the literary and science novel fantasies of popular culture. The ethics of biotechnology entails both a reflection on the immediate consequences of its use, and on the underlying social and cultural conditions of which it is a part.

The eugenics movement that occupied serious and well-respected scientists and politicians in Europe and America earlier in this century testifies to the ways in which the application of science can go morally wrong. It is, therefore, not surprising that as the biological sciences and biotechnology have enjoyed remarkable success during the past 30 years, public awareness and discomfort, particularly with genetic engineering, have increased.

All technology modifies our relationship to our environment, to our work, and to ourselves, but biotechnology strikes much closer to home, enabling us to modify life itself. These considerations raise the question of the scientists' responsibility in the application of the knowledge and techniques they have produced. Historically, genetic engineering has grown out of the simple search for biological knowledge. As biologists sought to penetrate to the molecular core of living processes, they invented tools to assist them in that process.

Ethical Consideration Of Biotechnology GM

Biotechnology is the use of organisms or their parts or products to provide a valuable substance or process. Fermentation using microorganisms in brewing, baking, and cheese production are biotechnologies that date back centuries. Production of human insulin in bacteria to treat diabetes mellitus without causing allergic reactions is a more modern example of biotechnology. Two widely used biotechnologies that manipulate genes are recombinant DNA technology, which endows single-celled organisms with novel characteristics using genes from other organisms, and transgenic technology, which creates multicellular organisms that bear genes from other types of organisms. Genetically modified (GM) fruits and vegetables, such as a type of corn that manufactures a bacterial insecticide, are transgenic plants.

The 4 ethical considerations that arise from modern biotechnologies include:

  1. the availability and use of privileged information

  2. potential for ecological harm

  3. access to new drugs and treatments

  4. and the idea of interfering with nature

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